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Houston Zoo Going to Houston Zoo's Galapagos Islands

Discussion in 'United States' started by TheImmigrant1, 30 Mar 2023.

  1. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    There is no "what if", it wouldn't happen.
     
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  2. Angie Selestino

    Angie Selestino Member

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    If it did, then will the zoo shut down due to the illegal export?
     
  3. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    It wouldn't happen. You might as well ask what if they did a blue whale exhibit.
     
  4. JVM

    JVM Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    I'll take this on.

    As has been covered by better zoochatters, the Houston Zoo cannot legally import the animals - if an individual representing the zoo were sent to Ecuador and gained entry, they would not be able to leave with the animals through legal means, and their petition to export would be denied. Your description is about them reaching exhibit so we would have to assume for the animals to leave the country, the Houston Zoo either paid an individual to smuggle them who successfully did so, or they would be purchased from animal dealer who had smuggled them previously. In either case, they would have to deal with an illegal animal smuggler.

    If the zoo put these illegally acquired animals on exhibit, which would likely gain enough social media attention to be noticed by the government of Ecuador, they could file a petition to the United States government via the Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the matter, and the director of the Houston Zoo would be held responsible for conspiracy to smuggle animals illegally. It is possible Ecuador would ask for the director to be extradited to Ecuador to face trial, or that either government could use them to identify the actual smuggler in exchange for a lesser sentence.

    The ultimate outcome would involve the perpetrators spending time in prison, possibly several years, and fees in at least the tens of thousands. Here is an example case for wildlife trafficking. A conviction for money laundering for financing the case could still be lodged towards the director of the Houston Zoo for buying the animals. The Houston Zoo would also be stripped of its accreditation by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which would remove it from participating in any breeding programs and have a significant affect on its funding. None of this is even covering the negative publicity and social media reaction, both in the United States directly affecting the zoo, and in Ecuador.

    In any case, the consequences for the Houston Zoo would be extremely severe.
     
  5. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    @JVM has covered it pretty well, though I would like to point out (again) that Blue-footed Boobies could be legally obtained - they are not endemic to the Galapagos or Ecuador. They even stray into the US with some regularity.
     
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  6. King of Komodo Dragons

    King of Komodo Dragons Well-Known Member

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    @Great Argus out of curiosity, how could Blue-Footed Boobies be obtained? as far as I know they aren't being bred anywhere, so would it just be unreleasable rescues?
     
  7. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Well actually in regard to Marine and Galápagos land iguana, there's still Uganda...:D
     
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  8. King of Komodo Dragons

    King of Komodo Dragons Well-Known Member

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    Japan too, with Izoo
     
  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member 15+ year member

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    One would hope that no reputable organisation would be touching any of those animals with a ten-foot pole though...
     
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  10. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Rescues would be the primary means, I think. It may also be possible to collect them from Mexico, though I'm not entirely sure if that's feasible and/or legal.
     
  11. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    They got theirs from Uganda.
     
  12. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Does anybody know how marine iguanas got to Uganda? Who managed to smuggle them out there?
     
  13. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    The story has been told several times at ZC. According to the owner of the CTC Conservation Center, Thomas B. Price, he has legit CITES documents for the animals that allowed him to transport them to Switzerland (and then to Uganda) as well as to Japan (i.e. iZoo).
    The CTC also houses African Golden cats, shoebills, striped hyenas, fiji iguanas, Nile crocs, lemurs, lions etc.
     
    Last edited: 17 Feb 2024
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